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Inside Washington

News/Business. Roundtable discussion features nationally recognized journalists. (CC) (Stereo)

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Sotomayor 4, Nina 3, Us 2, Washington 2, Boston 2, Barack Obama 2, Nancy Pelosi 2, John Roberts 2, George Bush 2, Henry Waxman 2, Cambridge 1, Nra 1, Insidewashington 1, America 1, Maryland 1, North Carolina 1, Raleigh 1, Towson 1, New York 1, Canada 1,
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  PBS    Inside Washington    News/Business. Roundtable discussion features  
   nationally recognized journalists. (CC) (Stereo)  

    August 1, 2009
    4:30 - 5:00am EDT  

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>> production assistance for "inside washington" was provided by allbritton communications and "politico." >> if you like your doctor, you keep your doctor. if you like your health care plan, if you keep your health care plan. >> this week on "inside washington," the president's health-care dilemma entered the more he talks, the more anxious americans appeared to be.
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>> they cannot get medicare and medicaid by, but they think they can do this right? >> i spoke to members of the gang of six, and progress is being made. >> there is not going to be any government-run insurance setup. >> "newsweek" declares that the recession is over. is it? >> i know you may have found the news startling. >> what we had today was two tunnel and agreeing to disagree on a particular issue. i don't think we spent too much time dwelling on the past. we spend a lot of time discussing the future. tba captioned by the national captioning institute --www.ncicap.org-- >> the most recent "wall street journal"-nbc news poll suggests
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that despite his best rhetorical effort, president obama's case for health care reform is slipping, especially among those who have health insurance. in "the new york times" they revealed that his ability to frame the debate on his own terms is also winning. -- waning. >> you could end up with government bureaucrats taking away your choices. >> nobody is talking about some government takeover of health care. [applause] i am tired of hearing that. if you like your doctor, you keep your doctor, if you like your health care plan, you keep your health care plan. these folks need to stop scaring everybody. >> in "the wall street journal" poll, only two out of 10 people believe the quality of their health care will improve under the plan. how much trouble as the president in on this one, colby? >> not as much as other people
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think. at this time last week, i would have been surprised to learn that henry waxman, chairman of the energy committee in the house, and the blue dog democrats would come together on a plan. now, the fact that has happened over there, and the fact that you have key republicans in the senate at the table, suggests that this is coming together. what you are getting slowly our by-ins key elements in the congress. it looked a lot different, late fall, when we have the final product. charles >>? >> i think the wheels are coming off, and it is not from advertisements from republicans or the blue dogs or the insurance companies did it is from the congressional budget office. nonpartisan. it came at three times with the findings that are just devastating. the sticker price is $1.60 trillion. 10 days ago, when it says that obama's new miracle cure, a
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committee of experts to make cuts in medicare, is not going to do a damn thing. thirdly, it said in a letter last sunday that in the end, the out years, the deficit it will produce will be even larger. yet numbers like that you cannot have a plan that will survive that. >> nina? >> we cannot survive without a major restructuring of health care. anybody who is connected to the medical profession, and i am by marriage, and knows that it is headed for a cliff. if we don't win now, it will be worse later. this will determine whether we do something significant now, and when everybody goes home, and the advertisements are run, it can be definitive. >> marc, with the numbers, how does the president did himself out? >> the president is not in a whole, really. it is always competitive.
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but a two-one margin, people believe that the president is better than the republicans in congress. they give the present very high marks for his commitment on the issue, his understanding of the issue. there is resistance. three out of four people believe their health-care costs will go up wiif nothing is done, and if everybody is covered. but there are principal -- principles that president obama has advanced, that no exports -- no existing condition can be excluded by a company, that all employers can provide something, even the smallest employers, a tax credit for those who cannot afford it. it will be funded by an increased tax on the wealthy. people back at 2-1. it is a political problem and it will take political skills and toughness that will determine whether or not president obama prevails. >> if he does not naled, he is
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in deep trouble politically. >> he will come out at the end of this year with a health care reform bill that he can sign and that the country is going to like. look, ted kennedy wrote an op-ed piece in "times magazine" this week that the real struggle to get health care reform, and the difficulty he had over the last 30 years in trying to get something done. we are farther along now than we have ever been. you asked me back in january whether we would see the congress coming together slowly, but coming together with something like this, i would have said no, not possible. >> the reason the so-called gang of six in the senate finance committee did not produce something is that the republican leadership intervened and said, "come to do this -- don't do this." you can call this mischief making, you can call it constructive criticism, but that
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is what happened. >> it is no longer the gang of six. as the gang of five or four to the republicans are not the ones who stop to this bid is the cbo. the president said that we would give you a plan that would expand coverage and caught cost and 90-year-old would tell you that that is a contradiction. the cbo show that that is a contradiction in numbers, and that is what is killing it. >> the democrats in congress want to risk dragging down as president, because if they do, if this fails, it not only brings down his luster and mission and the numbers, but it also brings down them. if they think they can go into 2010 with a failed health care and a president who is limping and wounded, and still prevail, they are kidding themselves. >> peter hart did a focus group. what did that reveal about the
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way americans feel about this president? >> two hours of 12 independent voters in towson, maryland. the president is overexposed. he is on too much -- people love the fact that the president is out there expanding and they love to see him and hear from him. that includes john mccain voters as well. but there is a sense of time out. things are happening so fast, it really is -- the argument that republicans make that we want to do this slowly, weather is sincere or not, does resonate with people. voters are still rooting for barack obama. job numbers are down, but they are rooting for him. >> obama's numbers are good and still strong, but in the last three months, approval health care reform has decreased by 14%. it is a fact. the more people learned about it, the less they like it.
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>> it is less that and more that it has been a steady pounding by critics of health care reform ought to have some impact. >> and one of the things that you see from these polls is that obama is down but republicans are not bouncing back. you see a problem in the sotomayor votes coming this week. she will be lucky to get 10 republican votes, because the republican leadership is whipping at her hard. i think is going to hurt them in the long run. >> one, is going to be part of the government's solution. it should be our problem with the insurance. not the government taking over. >> a little back-and-forth in raleigh, north carolina, as the president traveled south to sell his plan. democratic senate leader harry reid says that the gang of six
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in the fine net -- in the finance committee is making progress -- gang of five, according to charles. over in the house, liberal democrats are steaming over the compromise, a deal that speaker policy and henry waxman have reportedly made with the blue dog democrats. how does one get his arms around this plan? >> the cleared thing to understand is that without the blue dogs, democrats are in the minority. >> tail wagging the dog. >> they do have a certain leverage in the democratic caucus. it picked up 11 seats that republicans held in 2006, another six that republicans held in 2008. they are really fighting to hold on to the democratic majority. you have got to listen to them. it still comes down to the democrats coming to the
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realization that nina touched on in the last segment that they will have to put the democrats together to pass this, and maybe get some republicans. that is where most of the work has to be done. >> nancy pelosi says that the insurance companies -- the lobbying they are doing is almost immoral, they are the villains in this, they're doing everything in their power to stop the public option from happening. they have a good thing going for a long time at the expense of the american people and our country. according to "politico.com," ths someone who took thousands of dollars from the insurance industry. >> have an anti-trust exemption. you cannot talk to a doctor or a small business insurer -- whether it is the doctor and it lightly or small business insurer wants to buy for the employee.
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the insurance companies have very aggressive regulator -- they have -- i was about to use an expression one should not use on television. >> let's try to stay on the air. >> i will make a prediction -- there will be a health bill, a larger health bill that aims at structure and everything, or a more minimal health bill. but in the end, the bill will be a lot of changes in the way that medical care is in short in this country. >> charles says it is health insurance reform. >> i don't think it will be the larger reform. nobody understands what obama means when he says health care reform. i think mark is right. democrats understand that if the president is defeated on this, he is done.
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democrats are not going to stray from their savior in the first year. there will be a health care bill, although in the end, it will be a minimal one. health insurance reform, the phrase that the president use 5 times in his press conference. an interesting turn of phrase, health insurance reform. it will be heavy regulation of insurance companies, so the when you have, people who have it and like it, will have it and be secure, affordable, permanent. people who accept that -- >> you have to have a market. >> the left will be angry, but the president will hold a left anyway. >> the democrats are not going to pass a health care bill because they want to help barack obama. they are going to do it because the pressure to get a health care bill passed -- there will be terrible blowback if they fail to do something. you will see, in some way, more of the uninsured covered.
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we will see regulation, in that will put more competition into the system for the health insurance companies, causing them to ratchet down what they are collecting. that is a given, whether it is a public a year or another, called the measure, some kind of competition is going to be introduced into the picture. you are going to see people covered with pre-existing conditions. those things will be part of the new system. >> point and nancy pelosi accepting to utter thousand dollars of insurance industry. it was said that if you cannot take the money, drink their brews, and speak against them, you ought not to be in the business, and nancy pelosi meets that test. >> nancy pelos except for sleeph them.
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i just want to say that as someone in the older age group -- >> the misinformation about what is in this bill is astonishing. some of it by error, a great deal of it by deliberation, is really astonishing. >> if you go to a single payer, as the british have, you will find, as the british have, that over a certain age and with certain disabilities, you will not get a kidney or liver, you will die. rationing encourages the kind of system. >> if you cannot afford it, you cannot get it. >> that is why we need the matchmaker in new jersey and get a kidney for you. >> there will be a vote on judge sotomayor. nina mentioned a minute ago. tell us more about this, where is going. >> mitch mcconnell, the republican leader, in a meeting with conservative groups, asked
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the nra if it was going to score this vote. it means it will be a key vote -- >> they already said there were going to do it. that >> is why they are going to do it, because he asked them. now you see states with big hispanic populations, people who were going to vote for her, now not going to vote for her. i in to be a guy this week who was one of the leaders of the -- i interviewed a guy this week was one of the leaders of peace and campaign for george bush and other republican candidates. -- the hispanic campaign for george bush and other republican candidates. when you combine this with the immigration stuff, the republican party is headed for minority status, a permanent minority status for the foreseeable future, if it does not do something to get back a significant portion of this fastest-growing group of voters in the country.
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>> oh, those awful republicans, scoring negative to flee on sotomayor. -- negatively on sotomayor. barack obama as a senator scored -- voted no on a john roberts, perhaps the most excellent candidate in years. his reason was ideology. it is perfectly reasonable, if you are a conservative, but that he would oppose were on ideology but personally, i would vote for her, the way that lindsey graham is, because i would like to establish the gold standard of approving a candidate of the opposition, even though ideologically you are different b. but it is the democrats, starting with robert bork, that institute the principle that if the ideology is different, you ought not to vote. >> patrick leahy -- >> half the democrats.
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i think it will be nine. half of them will be retiring. >> charles grassley and orrin hatch, two respected republican senators, announced they were voting against her, after the announcement was made, the national rifle association, that if you do not vote the right way -- >> i wonder what it would have liked attended jefferson was trying to write the declaration of independence if there had been 24-hour news coverage. the likelihood of failure, the whole thing is collapsed. look, we have to take the long view of sonia sotomayor. how she will be viewed is not based on the hearings, but how she is going to look after she has been on the bench for awhile and incited chance to participate in some of the decisions.
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-- had a chance to participate in some of the decisions. >> do you agree with charles on john roberts? >> no, i don't agree, but i really don't care to debate this, because it is not an issue. >> you brought it up. >> no, you brought it up. >> i want to answer this question of what would happen if we had tabled in the time of jefferson, we would have been saying it "god save the queen" every day. not a bad tune. >> that is the way we would have covered the economy, the stimulus debate. it is instant reporting which has nothing to do -- >> an unprovoked attack on fox
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and other cable news channels by doctor krauthammer. >> "god save the queen" is a great tune. i grew up in canada with a single pair. >> is the great recession really over? >> i don't know if you have seen the latest cover of "newsweek" magazine at the grocery store, but the cover says "the recession is over." now, i imagine that you may have found the news a little startling. [laughter] i know i did. here is what is true -- we have stop the freefall. we may be seeing the beginning of the end of the recession. but that is little comfort if you are one of the folks who lost their job. >> our word of caution from the president on celebrity the end
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of the recession. actually, the article points out that when economists tell us that the recession is over, it is a technicality. we are not home yet, charles. >> but on friday, we got a report in that whereas in the first quarter, gross national product had increased by 6%, in the second quarter it went down by 1%. bernanke has predicted, probably correct, that by the end of the year, we will have a growth of a percent, percent-and-a-half. joblessness is a lagging indicator, and we will have high unemployment long into our recovery, probably into election year 2010. >> how much credit as the administration get? >> hoi give a lot of credit to the obama administration --
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>> surprise. >> and the bush administration. >> i am shocked. >> both did unpopular things, and we will see the massive proportions of that. the bonuses -- there was a piece in "the new york times" about five dozen people at one of the big financial institutions getting bonuses of $1 million. it is enough to make you -- but we would be -- i think there is a very good chance that we would be really in a deep depression if they had not done in. >> because of the shrinkage of the economy, inventories are down in business, and you'll see manufacturing pick up over the next six months. but charles is right, we will have a lag of unemployment, and you'll see structural change in the employment picture, in the
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auto industry. >> we had a real reform and real regulation in the financial institutions. >> once again, wall street is the ahead of the curve. nine of the financial firms, $175,000 -- $175 billion in tarp funds. more than $1 million to 5000 -- taking from the public treasury, people who are suffering and trying to get through. these are people. we are talking about millions and millions of american families that are really in pain, and it is fine that the numbers are going up, the overall percentage and everything of this. but the final analysis is the human face on this unemployment, and that is real, and that will be an enormous problem in 2010. >> how does he get around that, the president?
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>> they better genuinely hope that the early summer of 2010, unemployment is going down and people are going back to work and there is hiring going on. >> you will probably see this in this package work its way for the through the economy. -- stimulus package work its way through the economy. >>if mark had been there for the french revolution, he would have been guillotine operator. >> professor gates has deep perspective to enlighten me a little bit. >> the police officer that busted the harvard professor as he was in his own home is now two weeks old. the same conversation has been going on all over america. charles, you spend some time at harvard. how much of this is a town vs
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gown? >> a lot of it. white working class, professor at an elite university. but the president used racism in a situation where i don't think existed, and i think he is the one at fault. the best comment out of all of this was henry louis gates, who at the end said that officer crowley, when he is not arresting you, is a really nice guy. >> let me answer softly. the bonding over. that occurred -- the bonding over beer that occurred is probably a good thing. i think it is a teachable moment that obama, a constitutional lawyer, allowed to pass. it was an opportunity to talk about the first amendment and police power and the rights of citizens.
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there is a time to do it, and that time is now. >> i like the comment of the woman who actually reported that looked like it might be a break in, and that is all she said. she was completely exonerated by the 91 tapes. she never mentioned race. but her lawyer said, "three guys acted badly in this, and they are having a beer at the white house." but the one person who did not act badly, who did her to become is doing her job in -- who did her duty, is doing her job in cambridge today. >> joe biden -- i am glad he had a non-alcoholic beer. secondly, it turned out that one thing they did bond over was the boston red sox and the boston celtics. >> last word.
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thanks. see you next week. for a transcript of this broadcast, log on to insidewashington.tv.
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